Surf's Always Up
Inland surfing is real, and it’s the best thing to happen to water sports since Sex Wax. The ability to catch waves and hang ten right off of the cottage dock is a dream come true — and not just for Transworld Surf subscribers nowhere near the coast. While we’d never dissuade you from gambling vacation time on 20-footers rolling in when you’re actually at Pipeline, riding waves behind a seafaring vessel whenever the mood strikes you is nothing short of awesome.
However, unless you have an ocean liner at your disposal, finding a wake big enough to ride can be daunting. Every boat will make waves, but even the most powerful need speed and tow ropes to churn up fun — and that ain’t surfing. However, there are some purpose-built wave makers on the market worthy of breaking out the Mr. Zog’s, and the all-new MasterCraft X23 is a yacht amongst barges. Designed to create the largest and longest surf-able wake in the industry, the X23 delivers an endless summer for lake-locked surfers yearning for on-demand breaks.
Those water-rippling abilities lie in the Mastercraft Gen 2 Surf System. A combination of an all-new surf-specific hull design with individually machined panels, an integrated wave-shaping device and a computer-controlled, compartmentalized ballast system lets the X23 pound out low-speed swells large enough to lure Laird Hamilton or simply cruise around in impeccable style. That’s because, with the Gen 2 software system, the X23 can be tailored on the fly to deliver three different wave zones to match up to a rider’s ability — all at an infinitely rideable 10 to 12 mph. Zone 1 places kooks and groms within five feet of the rear platform on a stable and predictable crest. Zone 2 ups the ante by adding and moving some ballast to create defined lips for adding speed and catching air. Zone 3 places pros 10 to 15 feet behind the boat and generates mini A-frames for drop-ins and vaulted maneuvers.
Each Zone is easily selected by your captain via a marine-friendly touchscreen. The backlit Murphy unit blends seamlessly into a dash that boasts billet trim work that would cause envy in the eyes of a Koenigsegg owner. From there, the software directs the system to move ballast where it needs to be to generate the optimal wave — all without having to ask any of your present company to shove over. Not that they’d mind, thanks to the equally plush finishes adorning all fifteen seats. The boat also pampers passengers with customizable backlighting, a booming sound system and flip-down arm rests of a quality usually reserved solely for captains and their first mates. And yet with the X23, everyone onboard is included in the action: the pickle-fork bow was designed with positional seating to let fans up front catch the action out back. There’s even enough stowage space (104 cubic feet), along with a built in cooler-cubby, to keep life jackets, towels and refreshments for riders and watchers at the ready.
The MasterCraft X23 can also be tailored to your wildest tastes in terms of color, and there are plenty of tempting add-ons. The options list runs deep, but the most important ones deal strictly with performance and comfort. Adding the JL Audio subwoofer package to your Zero Flex Tower should send a few more ripples into the water, and board storage racks are never a bad idea. Of course, an engine upgrade always piques curiosity, and there are six potent options available, each designed by the engine builders behind Team Penske’s championship boats. In stock form it’s powered by a 320-horsepower, 5.7-liter Ilmor Marine V8 engine that will let riders hang ten with grunt to spare. But if you’re looking to reenact escapes from Johnny Utah, a 522-horsepower, 7.4-liter Ilmor Marine unit — the most powerful catalyzed production marine engine available today — should suffice.
Engine: 5.7L Ilmor Marine V8 / 7.4L Ilmor Marine V8
Horseower: 320 hp / 522 hp
Length: 22 feet, 9 inches
Seating: up to 15 people
Capacity: 2,126 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 57 gallons